Why Even a Lame Attack on Goldman Matters

Matthew Yglesias goes to bat for 'moral outrage'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2012 12:34 PM CDT
Why Even a Lame Attack on Goldman Matters
Greg Smith's new book "Why I Left Goldman Sachs, is photographed Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Greg Smith's new book bashing former employer Goldman Sachs has been met with a yawn, its critics complaining that it contains no bombshell revelations not found in his celebrated New York Times op-ed. "Everyone already knows the 'squid' isn't on the side of the angels," writes David Weidner at MarketWatch. But Matthew Yglesias at Slate thinks there's value in being outraged over things "everyone already knows," and indeed, thinks we need to revive the concept of moralistic outrage in general.

"Norms matter," Yglesias writes. "People work for money. But people also work for status, and people work because they take pride in a job well done." Sure, Goldman Sachs is a business designed to make money, but everyone's in business to make money. If a doctor bragged that he'd made money conning patients, we'd frown on that. We can't outlaw all the "bad" ways to make money, "but that makes it more important, not less, to maintain a social sense of outrage around sleazy behavior." Click for Yglesias' full column, or for Weidner's full column. (More Greg Smith stories.)

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